UNCLASSIFIED (U)

3 FAM 1500
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

3 FAM 1510

EEO—GENERAL

(CT:PER-986;   05-11-2020)
(Office of Origin:  S/OCR)

3 FAM 1511  POLICY

3 FAM 1511.1  State

(CT:PER-979;   03-09-2020)
(State)
(Foreign Service Employees, Civil Service Employees, and Locally Employed Staff)

a. It is the policy of the Department of State to provide equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment in employment to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information, free from reprisal for prior EEO activity or opposition to illegal discrimination.  Furthermore, it is the policy of the Department to provide equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment in employment to all people without regard to marital status, political affiliation, and other non-merit based factors.  The Department also strives to achieve equal employment opportunity (EEO) in all personnel operations through continuing diversity and inclusion programs.

b. The EEO complaint process is not available to individuals who believe they have been discriminated against based on military service, marital status, political affiliation, and other non-merit based factors.  Individuals with such complaints should avail themselves of the appropriate grievance or administrative procedures, remedies for prohibited personnel practices, and/or courts for relief.

3 FAM 1511.2  U.S. Agency for International Development

(CT:PER-979;   03-09-2020)
(USAID)
(Foreign Service Employees, Civil Service Employees, and Locally Employed Staff)

a. It is the policy of the U.S. Agency for International Development to provide equal employment opportunity for all people; to prohibit discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, or sexual orientation; and to promote a diverse workforce through a continuing diversity enhancement program.

b. For more detailed information regarding EEO for the U.S. Agency for International Development, see USAID ADS 110, EEO.

3 FAM 1512  AUTHORITY

(CT:PER-980;   03-11-2020)
(State)
(Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

a. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (Title VII) (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.).

b. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, as amended (ADEA) (29 U.S.C. 633a).

c.  The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Rehabilitation Act) (29 U.S.C. 791 et seq.).

d. The Equal Pay Act of 1963, as amended (29 U.S.C. 206(d)).

e. The Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended (22 U.S.C. 3901(b)(1)).

f.  Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (29 U.S.C. 2000ff).

g. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations contained in 29 CFR Part 1614.

3 FAM 1513  APPLICABILITY

(CT:PER-979;   03-09-2020)
(State)
(Foreign Service Employees, Civil Service Employees, and Locally Employed Staff)

The provisions of 3 FAM 1500 and 3 FAH-1 H-1500 apply to all Foreign Service and Civil Service employees and U.S. citizen Locally Employed Staff and applicants for employment with the Department.  Various provisions also apply to non-U.S. citizen employees located outside the territorial boundaries of the United States and are specifically so identified.

3 FAM 1514  RESPONSIBILITIES

(CT:PER-979;   03-09-2020)
(State)
(Foreign Service Employees, Civil Service Employees, and Locally Employed Staff)

a. Secretary of State:  The Secretary is responsible for exercising personal leadership in establishing, maintaining, and carrying out a continuing affirmative employment program designed to promote equal opportunity in every aspect of the Department’s personnel policies and practices (see 29 CFR 1614.102).

b. Director of the Office of Civil Rights (S/OCR) and Chief Diversity Officer (Assistant Secretary-equivalent):

(1)  As the EEO Director, the S/OCR Director is the principal adviser to management, including the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and the Under Secretary for Management, on all EEO matters and carries out implementation and enforcement of EEO programs.  In order to exercise the independence required of the position, the Director is under the immediate supervision of the Secretary;

(2)  As provided in 29 CFR 1614.102(b)(4), the Director shall designate:

(a)  A Federal Women’s Program Manager (FWPM);

(b)  A Hispanic Employment Program Manager (HEPM);

(c)  A Disability Program Manager (DPM); and

(d)  Any other Special Emphasis Program Managers deemed necessary to fulfill the needs of the Department’s EEO program;

(3)  The Director shall designate Federal Women’s Program Coordinators (FWPCs), as deemed necessary by the FWPM, to assist in the effective implementation of the Department’s Federal Women’s Program; and

(4)  As provided in 29 CFR 1614.102(b)(5) - (7), the Director shall designate EEO Counselors to assist in carrying out the EEO Program and shall publicize to all employees the names and locations of such EEO Counselors.

c.  EEO Counselors:

(1)  An EEO Counselor shall conduct counseling activities only when in good standing in the EEO Counselor program.  This status includes, but is not limited to:

(a)  Satisfactory completion of the mandatory 32-hour Basic EEO Counselor Training (PT-171) and certification as an EEO Counselor by S/OCR;

(b)  Satisfactory completion of the annual 8-hour EEO Counselor Refresher Training (PT-173), or equivalent training from the EEOC with S/OCR approval, to maintain certification; and

(c)  S/OCR’s discretionary determination of the Counselor’s continued suitability to fulfill the role, subject to the Counselor removal policy available on S/OCR’s website;

(2)  The EEO Counselor is responsible for:

(a)  Providing counseling to any applicant for employment or employee (Foreign Service, Civil Service, contractors, Locally Employed Staff, and other federal agency employees under Chief of Mission authority), regardless of citizenship, who believes that s/he has been discriminated against because of his/her race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information, or reprisal for protected EEO activity or opposition to illegal discrimination, irrespective of the aggrieved individual’s employer or the employer of the individual alleged to have engaged in discriminatory activity.  (See 3 FAH-1 H-1510, 3 FAM 1510, and 29 CFR 1614.105);

(b)  Attempting to resolve informally the matter raised by the employee or applicant before a formal complaint of discrimination may be filed;

(c)  Diligently performing the role of EEO Counselor, including but not limited to:

(i)     Maintaining neutrality;

(ii)    Providing information about EEO rights and responsibilities;

(iii)    Attempting to resolve an informal complaint at the lowest level possible;

(iv)   Reporting allegations of harassment to S/OCR;

(v)    Never attempting in any way to persuade or restrain an individual who is considering filing a complaint of discrimination; See also 29 CFR 1614.105(g);

(vi)   Never acting as a representative for individuals or management during the EEO process;

(vii)   Avoiding (even the perception of) a conflict of interest with the Counselor role and the role’s neutrality; for example, by refusing advocacy roles (such as a FWPC or union representative) and recusing herself/himself from cases that would create a conflict of interest; and

(viii)  Never revealing the identity of any person who consulted the EEO Counselor on any allegation of discrimination, except to S/OCR or during Counseling when expressly authorized to do so by the employee or applicant. See also 29 CFR 1614.105(g);

(3)  S/OCR has ultimate discretion in determining the appropriate number of EEO Counselors to serve at a post/office (hereafter referred to as “duty station”), which is in part determined by the size of the duty station;

(a)  Nominating officials shall be responsible for nominations from their duty station. The nominating official must be an Ambassador, Principal Officer, Deputy Chief of Mission, Deputy Principal Officer, Consul General, Director, Deputy Director or someone of equivalent leadership rank or higher at the nominating post/office;

(b)  For more detailed information about the appropriate number of EEO Counselors to serve at a particular duty station, consult S/OCR’s website. In general:

(i)     For small duty stations, the nominating official shall nominate an EEO Counselor as needed on a case-by-case basis;

(ii)    For medium-sized duty stations, the nominating official shall nominate at least one EEO Counselor; and

(iii)    For large duty stations, the nominating official shall nominate at least two EEO Counselors;

(c)  All duty stations shall publicize contact information of the EEO Counselor(s) at that location who maintain good standing with the EEO program;

(d)  If a duty station determines that the service of an EEO Counselor thereto is not needed, that duty station shall provide a justification for the decision to S/OCR for ultimate consideration.

d. Locally Employed Staff EEO Liaisons (LE Staff EEO Liaisons):

(1)  At posts abroad, LE Staff EEO Liaisons shall act as conduits between EEO Counselors and LE Staff who have informal EEO Complaints;

(2)  LE Staff EEO Liaisons shall perform the role only when in good standing in the LE Staff EEO Liaison program (which includes, but is not limited to, completion of S/OCR’s 8-hour LE Staff EEO Liaison training and continued suitability for the role);

(3)  Diligently perform the role of LE Staff EEO Liaison, including but not limited to:

(a)  Maintaining neutrality;

(b)  Reporting allegations of harassment to S/OCR;

(c)  Never attempting in any way to persuade or restrain an individual who is considering filing a complaint of discrimination;

(d)  Never acting as a representative for individuals or management during the EEO process; and

(e)  Never revealing the identity of any person who consulted the LE Staff EEO Liaison or EEO Counselor on any allegation of discrimination, except to S/OCR or during Counseling when expressly authorized to do so by the employee or applicant;

(4)  All posts are encouraged to identify at least one LE Staff to serve as an LE Staff EEO Liaison.  LE Staff EEO Liaisons should have the trust of the LE Staff community and be representative of the LE Staff population in terms of position, length of time at post, etc.

e. The ranking official at a duty station (i.e. Chief of Mission, Passport Agency Director, etc.) is strongly encouraged to meet regularly with the EEO team (including the EEO Counselors and LE Staff EEO Liaisons) to review the EEO program at their post/office.

f.  The responsibilities of EEO Counselors and LE Staff EEO Liaisons shall further be determined and specified by the S/OCR Director.

3 FAM 1515  PROCEDURES

(CT:PER-979;   03-09-2020)
(State)
(Foreign Service Employees, Civil Service Employees, and Locally Employed Staff)

a. Procedures on the filing and processing of complaints of discrimination under the authorities contained in this chapter are published in 3 FAH-1 H-1510.

b. In addition to these procedures, employees are also entitled to use the procedures enumerated in 3 FAM 1525.2-2, paragraph d, Employee’s Rights and Responsibilities.

3 FAM 1515.1  Representation

(CT:PER-979;   03-09-2020)
(State)
(Foreign Service Employees, Civil Service Employees, and Locally Employed Staff)

At any stage in the processing of a complaint, including the informal process, the complainant has the right to be accompanied, represented, and advised by a representative of his or her choice. This representative need not be an attorney. See also 29 CFR 1614.605.

3 FAM 1515.2  Use of Official Time

(CT:PER-979;   03-09-2020)
(State)
(Foreign Service Employees, Civil Service Employees, and Locally Employed Staff)

a. See also 29 CFR 1614.605.

b. The aggrieved/complainant and his or her representative should have a reasonable amount of official time, if otherwise on duty, to prepare the complaint and respond to Agency and EEOC requests for information.  Time the aggrieved/complainant and his or her representative spend in meetings and hearings with Department officials or with EEOC Administrative Judges is reasonable official time and is not considered preparation time.

c.  Individuals who require official time in order to participate in the EEO process should submit a leave request for administrative leave in accordance with established leave procedures.

d. The EEOC’s guidance makes it clear that the right to official time is a qualified right that must be balanced against the agency’s need to have the employee continue to perform his or her duties.  The actual number of hours to which a complainant and his or her representative are entitled will vary, depending on the nature and complexity of the complaint, the stage in the process of the complaint, and considering the mission of the agency and the agency’s need to have its employees available to perform their normal duties on a regular basis.

e. Management should review each employee’s request for official time on a case-by-case basis.  S/OCR has determined that as a general rule, up to eight hours of official time to prepare the complaint and respond to Agency and EEOC requests for information may be considered “reasonable” during the informal process, and up to eight hours of official time may be considered “reasonable” during the formal process.

f.  Any questions regarding whether or not time requested meets or exceeds the requirements of official time should be directed to the Chief of Intake and Resolution in S/OCR.

3 FAM 1515.3  EEO COUNSELING PARAMETERS

(CT:PER-979;   03-09-2020)
(State)
(Foreign Service Employees, Civil Service Employees, and Locally Employed Staff)

a. See also 29 CFR 1614.105.

b. Any applicant for employment or employee (Foreign Service, Civil Service, contractors, Locally Employed Staff, and other federal agency employees under Chief of Mission authority), regardless of citizenship, who believes that s/he has been discriminated against because of her/his race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information, or reprisal, irrespective of the aggrieved individual’s employer or the employer of the individual alleged to have engaged in discriminatory activity, may consult an EEO Counselor or S/OCR to initiate the informal EEO process.

c.  In order for an applicant for employment or employee to preserve his or her rights under these provisions in the formal EEO process, she or he must initiate the informal process within 45 calendar days of the date of the alleged discriminatory act or within 45 calendar days upon which they should reasonably have been aware of the alleged discriminatory act.

d. Unless the individual elects to proceed with Alternative Dispute Resolution managed by S/OCR, the EEO Counselor should carry out his or her counseling responsibilities in accordance with the standards and time limits set forth in 29 CFR 1614.105.

e. A grievance is a separate complaint process.  See 3 FAM 1590 and 3 FAM 4400 regarding grievance procedures.

3 FAM 1515.4  Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation for a Disability

(CT:PER-986;   05-11-2020)
(State)
(Foreign Service Employees, Civil Service Employees, and Locally Employed Staff)

a. Employees and applicants may request a reasonable accommodation for a disability at any stage of the processing of a complaint.  For more information about reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities, refer to 3 FAM 3670 and 3 FAH-1 H-3670.

b. For non-U.S. citizen LE Staff outside the territorial limits of the United States, accommodations based on disability will be based on local law considerations, and management should consult with local counsel as needed.  Post management, however, is encouraged to engage with employees in an effort to address requests at the earliest stage possible.  Post should also consult with the Bureau of Global Talent Management, Office of Accessibility and Accommodations for advice on accommodations that may suit local conditions.

3 FAM 1515.5  Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation for a Religious Belief or Practice

(CT: CT:PER-979;   03-09-2020)
(State)
(Foreign Service Employees, Civil Service Employees, and Locally Employed Staff)

a. Employees and applicants may request a reasonable accommodation for a religious belief or practice at any stage of the processing of a complaint. For more information about reasonable accommodations for a religious belief or practice, contact S/OCR.  For more information about requesting leave for religious holidays, see 3 FAM 3465.

b. For non-U.S. citizen LE Staff outside the territorial limits of the United States, accommodations based on religious beliefs and practices will be based on local law considerations, and management should consult with local counsel as needed.  Post management, however, is encouraged to engage with employees in an effort to address requests at the earliest stage possible.

3 FAM 1516  THROUGH 1519 UNASSIGNED

UNCLASSIFIED (U)